An old African proverb states that it takes a village to raise a child. In many African villages, raising the children in the community is everyone’s responsibility. We love the idea that none of us is alone and that we have others to turn to on our life’s journey. No matter the situation, there is absolutely no need to be an island: alone and isolated. The same can be true for couple’s hoping to adopt. It is very common for their family and friends to come together to encourage and support them during their adoption journey.
From the moment we decided to adopt, we have been blessed with the support of our family and friends (and their friends and family). From the very beginning our families were thrilled for us and, along with our closest friends, were the first to volunteer to host home-based jewelry shows for me, with all the earnings going into our adoption fund. I became one of the top sellers in my area, which shows just how much everyone we know wanted, and still wants, us to have a child!
Additionally, we have many friends who were adopted or have adopted their own children who have been invaluable resources to us by answering questions, offering advice, and providing us with knowledge from their experiences with adoption, be it the use of lawyers, agencies, or the foster system. With their stories in mind, we began our 10 month search for an agency that best fit our needs. We found IAC this past January, and respected them for their lack of bias and their focus on one’s ability to parent versus their age, religion, sexual orientation, and marital status along with the long-term needs of their clients.
The support continued through the approval and marketing processes. Friends and coworkers graciously wrote letters of reference, while family members insisted on helping prep the house for our home visit. Once approved, another friend, an adoptive mom and photographer took our main photo picture for our birthparent letter. One of my cousins created our beautiful video, while Rob’s cousin, who owns a marketing firm, and her team enhanced our words with a beautiful tree-themed birthparent letter that very much reflects our extensive support system.
One of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of our adoption adventure has been to watch people from every chapter of our lives come together in hopes of making our dream of having a little one of our own a reality. Facebook has been an effective marketing tool and a place to leave us encouraging messages throughout our journey. Just last week I asked the fans on our Carrie and Rob adopt page to help brainstorm additional marketing ideas, and Diane, a friend from high school, in her infinite wisdom shared that she’d seen this quote and thought of me: “Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” And she is right: we have done all we can and now have to patiently wait until we are introduced to our family- the child or children we are meant to raise and his or her birth parents and their families. Another friend, Martha, left a message that read, “Believe me when I say there are many of us who want this for you just as badly as you want it for you. I keep hoping and praying!”
And that, my friends, is how our family and friends, our “village,” has come together to support us on our adoption journey. We look forward the remainder of this voyage and the moment that we finally hold the coveted titles of “Mom” and “Dad”.
About the author:
Carrie Bedwell, and her husband Rob, are IAC clients waiting to adopt their first child. They reside in Hobart, Indiana and are excited to start their family through open adoption. If you would like to learn more about them visit: http://www.iheartadoption.org/users/carriebedwell or watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO4YfQe9U3w&feature=share
If you want to follow them on their adoption journey, tune in to their blog: http://carriebedwell.wordpress.com/